Travels with your horse don’t necessarily end when winter arrives. Whether you’re headed to a clinic, show or trail head, there are plenty of reasons you may want to trailer your horse during colder months. If you do, keep a few things in mind.
1. Mind the temperature inside the trailer
The inside of the trailer may be warmer than you think. The horse’s body heat will be trapped inside the trailer, raising the interior air temperature as much as 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit above that of the air outside. Blanket your horse with this in mind; a healthy horse with an unclipped winter coat may not need a blanket at all.
2. Keep the air flowing inside the trailer
Ventilation is crucial, even in cold weather. Fresh air is important to protecting a traveling horse’s respiratory health, so don’t sacrifice air quality in an attempt to keep horses warm. Stock trailers will be naturally ventilated, but in a close-sided trailer open screened windows or vents to encourage air exchange.
3. Provide plenty of drinking water for your horse
Hydration is still essential. Just because it’s not hot doesn’t mean horses don’t need to drink on the road. Dehydration can contribute to a variety of physical problems, including impaction colic, during the winter months. Take fresh, familiar water with you on the road to offer your horse at the destination. For trips of more than two hours, stop periodically to offer the horse a drink before hitting the road again.
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